USL power ratings: May 21, 2018

Cincinnati is back on top of the East, and Real Monarchs maintain their stranglehold on the West. There’s plenty of other shakeup across the USL. Don’t forget to follow the site on Twitter and Facebook for all the content on USL, US Soccer, and Nashville SC.

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USL East Power Rankings:

  1. FC Cincinnati 3.12 (+1)
  2. Louisville City 2.98 (+1)
  3. Indy Eleven 2.66 (-2)
  4. Nashville SC 2.56
  5. Charleston Battery 2.44
  6. Bethlehem Steel 2.28 (+3)
  7. Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2.09 (-1)
  8. Charlotte Independence 1.73 (-1)
  9. Tampa Bay Rowdies 1.57 (+1)
  10. Richmond Kickers 1.53 (+1)
  11. New York Red Bulls II 1.46 (-3)
  12. Ottawa Fury 1.41 (+1)
  13. Penn FC 1.35 (-1)
  14. Atlanta United 2 1.33 (+1)
  15. North Carolina FC 1.15 (-1)
  16. Toronto FC II 0.25

 

After a week away, FC Cincinnati returns to the top of the East, with Indy Eleven taking a bad loss to Bethlehem… but the Steel’s recent run of form indicating it may not be such a bad loss after all.

Things are still in a couple pretty distinct tiers (though the Indy loss not only takes them out of first place, but maybe drops them out of the top one). There’s the leading group, currently consisting of Cincy and Louisville, the chase group with Indy, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and now Bethlehem, and then a big ol’ mass of teams that can’t separate themselves very much.

Then there’s TFCII, which remains awful in every respect. I think there’s a good chance that a team or two toward the bottom of the pack falls down toward them a bit, but realistically, teams generally holding to form means there are eight or so teams chasing one or two spots at the end of the playoff bracket.

There’s a lot of soccer to be played (and with unbalanced schedules, there’s lots of room for shakeup), but this has remained mostly consistent through the past few weeks, with minimal jumping between tiers. It seems to be a state of equilibrium unless someone goes on a crazy run in one way or another.

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USL West Power Rankings

  1. Real Monarchs 4.03
  2. Sacramento Republic 2.45 (+3)
  3. Phoenix Rising 2.39 (-1)
  4. Orange County SC 2.29
  5. Swope Park Rangers 2.17 (-2)
  6. Portland Timbers II 2.02
  7. Las Vegas Lights 1.77 (+1)
  8. San Antonio FC 1.71 (-1)
  9. St. Louis FC 1.63 (+2)
  10. Reno 1868 1.59 (-1)
  11. Colorado Spring Switchbacks 1.42 (-1)
  12. Fresno FC 1.32
  13. Rio Grande Valley 1.27
  14. Seattle Sounders 2 1.25
  15. Tulsa Roughnecks 0.92 (+1)
  16. LA Galaxy II 0.81 (-1)
  17. OKC Energy 0.81

Real Monarchs remain a lap and a half ahead of the field (as mentioned at the top), but Sacramento Republic regains its No. 2 spot after beating Phoenix – and though it isn’t reflected in the methodology of these numbers, a two-goal road win is pretty resounding. Rising only falls one spot in the wake of the loss, with just a little bit of shakeup immediately behind them.

Like in the East, it appears that there’s a bit of a cutoff around the sixth team, and here it’s a little more defined and with less volatility (at least this week – it changed some last weekend). If T2 keeps the form going, that gap may grow a bit.

Then, of course, there’s a three-team group that’s well behind the field. I don’t suspect any of them will really pick things up enough to get into the playoff mix (though Galaxy II and OKC are playing better lately – including an Energy win over Colorado Springs Saturday – and may improve going forward).

Methodology note: No home/away or goals for/against numbers are included in the rankings. It’s strictly points per game multiplied by a strength of schedule component (opponents’ points per game, excluding games against the team of interest).

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